People sign petition calling for Olympic Games to be canceled

People sign petition calling for Olympic Games to be canceled

The campaign, called ‘Stop Tokyo Olympics’, claims holding the Games will divert crucial medical services from the general public during the coronavirus pandemic

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe urges Japanese people to have faith in Olympic organizers. It comes as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Japan, where less than two percent of the population has been vaccinated.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto says she is taking opinions against the Olympics “seriously” and hopes details of the medical plans in place will help reassure the public of a “safe and secure” Games.

On Friday, the Japanese government expanded a state of emergency, due to last until the end of the month, to a total of nine areas to try and slow the rate of infections.

The additions include Japan’s northern island state of Hokkaido, where the Olympic marathon will be held, as well as Hiroshima and Okayama in western Japan.

Around 40 Japanese towns have also recently abandoned plans to host Olympic athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the Games begin – the latest signal of unease among people in Japan over hosting the event in the midst of a global pandemic.

The Olympics were postponed in March last year following the start of the pandemic but Coe said he believes athletes are in a different frame of mind heading into the July 23-August 8 Games.

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